Past Alumni of the Month
“Understanding the social phenomenon of crime, criminals, and penal treatment has better equipped me to properly analyze and develop effective policy in my career. My education at Florida State undeniably gave me the insight, skills, and competence to work for the State Courts System and to provide analytical feedback on Legislative and Court policy now and in the future. One of the best things about FSU is that it prepares every student not just to succeed in the “now,” but also to be innovative and ground-breaking while embracing change for the future.” – Alexis Rojas, BS 2009
Jacksonville native Alexis Rojas works as a Senior Court Analyst in the Florida Supreme Court. By working closely with the State Legislative Process and State Judicial System, she is able to combine her love for Criminology and Political Science, her undergraduate major and minor, respectively. Alexis says that her participation in the BS to MS program was “exhilarating,” amplifying her interest in Criminology and inspiring her to pursue a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from St. Leo University after graduation.
Samantha Carlo likes to think of her career as an Assistant Professor at Miami Dade College as coming “full circle,” but her pursuit of higher education is not over. The South Florida native received her Bachelor’s in Criminology from FSU, completed her Master’s degree at the University of Central Florida, and is now pursuing an Executive Juris Doctorate degree from Concord Law School.
Of her degree at FSU, Samantha says: “I was exposed to things I never knew of and want to thank great professors, like Dr. Bedard, for bringing some very important issues to my attention. The knowledge I acquired at FSU was definitely a catalyst for my field in academia in the subject matter of criminal justice. Having been a student of criminology, I understand how information needs to be presented in order to guarantee the greatest amount of student interest and comprehension.”
Samantha is a mentor with Criminology's MORE for Women program.
“I’ve had an interesting career. I attribute a great deal of my professional success to the professors and professional staff in Criminology, whose insights and challenges prepared me for both the field and the world.”
South Florida native, Alan Philipson, received a bachelor’s degree in Criminology from Florida State in 1991. After graduating, he joined Legal-eze Litigation Consultants working on such landmark cases as the State of Washington vs. Big Tobacco. More recently, Alan started Anatomical Architects Medical Devices, a medical equipment company that designs rehabilitative and preventative maintenance equipment. He attributes the exposure to critical writing in Criminology for giving him the necessary skills to draft two United States Utility Patents and the accompanying trademarks. His current patent-pending design is in front of the United States Air Force and Navy to help condition and maintain flight readiness of fighter pilots.
In 2004, Major Phoebe Flynn had recently returned from a combat deployment in Afghanistan and was deployed to Honduras. Unable to attend a resident university in the U.S., Phoebe says she “looked for a highly reputable university that was also on the cutting edge of distance learning, so I could pursue my studies regardless of my location and also yield an advanced degree from a school with an excellent reputation. FSU was a perfect fit.”
In April 2007, Phoebe finished the online Master’s program. Two summers later she returned home from deployment and married Army Major Mike Flynn. Mother to daughter Jane, Phoebe currently serves as a logistics officer in the United States Army. As the Executive Officer for the Regimental Support Squadron she helps ensure the health, welfare, training, combat readiness, and mission effectiveness of seven premier Army units and nearly 1,000 Soldiers.
As a leader in the Army, Phoebe says her degree has helped her to approach obstacles and execute problem solving more dynamically. "Having thisbackground helps me understand my Soldiers, their families, and my communitybetter. It also helps me recognize organizational trends so I can work toenhance or remedy them as needed,” she said. Her personal development is impressive, but Phoebe notes that the best reward is serving as an example to those around her.
Major Phoebe Flynn’s military awards include the Bronze Star Medal (two awards), Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (three awards), Army Achievement Medal (three awards), Army Meritorious Unit Award, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Scuba Diver Badge, Senior Parachutist Badge, and foreign parachutist badges from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Uzbekistan.
Bill Litton’s internship with the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) gave him firsthand experience in the development of the Seminole Neighborhood Policing project, which emphasizes community-based policing. The internship experience allowed Bill “the time to take the theory from the classroom setting and apply it to daily practices in the law enforcement field by building a partnership between the deputies and the citizens they serve to impact and reduce crime,” he said.
The 1994 grad currently works at SCSO as the Emergency Management Coordinator, where he is responsible for administrative and management law enforcement and public safety work for the protection of life and property and provides for the overall coordination of Emergency Management Operations. Bill is also a Child Protective Investigator and Juvenile Probation Officer.
While at the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Alfred Miller worked on an internship at Pat Thomas Law Enforcement Academy and received his law enforcement certification. After graduating with his Bachelor’s in 2004, Alfred served with Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office as a reserve deputy sheriff as well as U.S. Army National Guard. Alfred says his degree certainly prepared him for his work in the military and law enforcement, but it didn’t stop there.
Alfred is the founder and President of Private Lending Solutions, LLC, a company that provides individual investors with opportunities to yield high profits in short periods of time. Despite the field change, Alfred still sees his degree as beneficial to his day-to-day workings: “My degree has helped me to be abe to do the proper due diligence on potential investments, companies, and individuals.”
Born in Alaska but raised throughout the country (yes, she’s from a proud military family), Sarah Deutschmann now resides in our nation’s capital while working as a federal criminal investigator. Football games, Greek life and great professors rank high on her list of greatest memories at FSU. One of Sarah’s favorite memories of Criminology, however, is one we’re sure fellow Criminology graduates can appreciate; a course on the history of serial killers. Despite the challenging nature of this upper level course, Sarah’s intrigue in the criminal mind helped her pass the class with flying colors.
Why does Sarah feel her degree continues to impact her? “I find that it can be difficult to find something that truly keeps your interest in college and at such a young age. Yet, at FSU, the College of Criminology immediately caught my attention; I was instantly hooked to the study of crime and why people do what they do. Throughout my career, this has kept my interest and I am constantly utilizing the skills I first learned in my undergrad classes at FSU.”
Katie Heck is a Master Police Officer with Punta Gorda Police Department in Punta Gorda, Fl. She currently serves in the Canine unit and has recently placed 2nd in the USPCA Region One Drug Detector Trials and qualified for and competed in the USPCA National Drug Detector Trials with K9 partner of two years, Jedi. Katie graduated in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science in Criminology from FSU. Katie’s favorite memory from the College of Criminology is a class she took with Dr. Billy Close, who she says was the “first teacher to challenge my perception of society, and what I felt my place in it was.”
How does Katie feel her degree has helped her? “The courses at Florida State prepared me not only for the police academy but also for road patrol as well. I found the police academy to be a condensed version of the core criminology classes, although lacking in the depth offered at the University. I don’t think I would have been as confident in the academics in the academy had I not had my degree background from FSU. In my career now, I find that I am able to look behind the crime in ways other people miss, and I credit the professors in our College for teaching to ask “why”, instead of just accepting the “what.” I didn’t go to college knowing I wanted to be a police officer, but my professors at FSU inspired me to make a difference wherever I chose to live. “
Know someone who deserves to be our Alumni of the Month? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.